Eating in Palm Springs

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This isn't going to be the most elaborate of blog posts, but I wanted my list of places I ate while in Palm Springs to live somewhere I could easily access or point people to it. So, TA-DA, I give you the places I ate while in Palm Springs (with my vegan friend):

Wang's in the Desert
Evzin
Palm Greens Cafe
Chef Tanya's Kitchen
Jus Chillen (for froyo)
Natural Sister's Cafe
El Jefe at The Saguaro Hotel
FARM
Kings Highway at The Ace
Blaze Pizza
Native Foods

The location of this shoot was in Joshua Tree at the Barker Dam
I'm wearing the Blue Life Enchanted one piece from Largo Drive

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3 REASONS WHY I'M NOT YOUR AVERAGE FITNESS FANATIC

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I DON’T USE FITNESS TRACKERS

Back when I was training to race outside, my Garmin was LIFE and if I didn't cross post my workout to Strava than I felt like it didn't even happen. I was obsessed with how far I had ridden, how many feet of elevation I had climbed and how many hours I had been in the saddle that week. One day I received a pretty nasty message from someone who had gone through and stalked out my race results, my workouts, etc. They used it as a personal attack to make me feel like I was undeserving of any sponsor I had earned and any recognition I had received. Clearly this person didn't follow my blogs on the Specialized website or actually take the time to read my Instagram posts because my entire journey was about starting from nothing, never claiming to be the best, but rather sharing the ups and downs with other people in hopes that they would get out there and try riding, too! Not too far after that incident I pretty much stopped posting my workouts. I went back and forth deciding if I stopped because I wanted to or if I stopped because someone made me feel bad about it. I didn't want to admit that someone actually got to me. Hate happens allllll of the time and most times you can let it go - sometimes you don't. Regardless of whether or not I stopped because of this person, I will say the silver lining is that when I did stop, I finally found balance in my life. The pressure was gone and I was finally working out for myself, not for the likes on Strava or to appease what I thought I "should" be doing. It's now been around a year and a half and I haven't looked back since. 

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I DON’T COUNT CALORIES OR MACROS

Listen, I am a definite rare bird in this scenario. Most people will not relate to this, but if you do, know that you aren't alone. I fully appreciate that tracking food intake helps A LOT of people and to be totally honest, I WISH it had that effect on me. Unfortunately, every single time I've ever tried using an app to track my food it has the reverse outcome. Instead of eating better I end up only thinking about food, absolutely obsessing over it, and after awhile I lose my mind and binge eat...bad. By the end of it, I will have eaten WAY worse than if I had just went about my day eating what I wanted. After several tries of monitoring my food I had to accept that it just didn't work for me. I would rather be aware of what I'm putting in my body and try and make good choices rather than flipping a switch and completely losing control of myself. Again, most people I tell this to think I'm nuts, but if you're anything like me - I FEEL YOU. I will say, even though I don't use things like MyFitnessPal anymore, I did learn a lot about what I was eating when I was using it. I still think it's a great tool for a lot of people, just not me. 

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I EAT (admittedly) TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD BUT I’M NOT AFRAID TO TALK ABOUT IT

Look, I grew up eating terribly. The only spinach I ever grew up eating came from a can and was cooked in a pot with loads of butter and salt. It's amazing I don't weigh at least 100 pounds more than I do and even more amazing I was able to get where I am now. However, sugar is still a massive addiction of mine. It's my HUGE personal battle, but rather than cutting it out 100% (probably not possible) or pretending that I eat salads on the daily, I use it as a means of balance. Now, do I eat 3-4 donuts for breakfast anymore? Absolutely not, but if I want one than I will have one. It took a lot of trial and error to find what works for me and a lot of feeling guilty that I wasn't the perfect health specimen. In the end I finally found that balance was king and my balance will not be the same as your balance. If you can cut sugar out than by all means you go Glen Coco, but for me, I'd rather have one donut than lose complete control of myself and end up eating that donut, plus a pie, plus fried food, plus literally whatever else I can find. IF the day comes where I decide I want to be shredded, I am fully aware that I will need to do some major adjustments, but until that day comes, I'll take my small daily food victories and accept that although I'm not perfect, I know that I've come a LONG way in my eating habits. 

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I'd love to hear your journey with food. Did you grow up eating healthy? If not, how do you think that's influenced how you eat now?

Outfit by the amazing Largo Drive. Check out their blog post where I did an interview and talk about my journey in becoming a fitness instructor.
Interested in buying something from them? Use code MAE20 from now until November 11th to get 20% off all regularly priced items.

I'm wearing the Lanston Sport Slit Bra and the Lanston Sport Slit Leggings

Permission to Pause with Athleta

I am SO excited that this week I teamed up with Athleta and gave myself #PermissionToPause in their new Restore collection. I chose to go to the Atlanta Beltline as it's one of my favorite places to walk around and unwind. You get to see A TON of dogs (and if you know me you know how much that excites me), stop by for a popsicle, watch people go buy on skateboards and bikes; and admire the art that lines the entire pathway. Because I previously lived walking distance away, I find it both nostalgic and fresh as it's always changing and updating, but still so full of memories.

If you don't have a local place like this that brings you peace (and popsicles) consider these alternatives:

- Take time for gratitude and involve those around you. I use an app called "Gratitude Journal" if I'm in the mood to document my day with photos or even just to list off the things I'm thankful for. It keeps it sorted for you by date - almost like a bullet diary with only positive memories. If I'm around people when I'm entering my thoughts, I'll ask them to do the same!

- Reach out on social. Sometimes I take my mindfulness to Instagram stories. I'll list three things that I'm thankful for or proud of and encourage others to think of three things as well. Then I give everyone the option of sharing their thoughts with me if they want to. It creates a really amazing community!

- Guided meditation. My boyfriend and I use the Headspace app. If you haven't tried it, I recommend giving it a go. It has a free basics pack and gives really great tips (and animated videos) on how to use it. I even have it set up to send me little "Mindful Moments" which are push notifications on my phone that keep me grounded throughout the day. 

If you live near an Athleta, I encourage you to stop by their store and attend their "Permission to Pause" meditation class. Not sure where one is near you? Check out the list HERE.

Now, on to these ridiculously cozy and extremely soft clothes that I'm wearing! The white "With Ease" tank is tied up, but you can wear it like a normal shirt - but really, what's normal these days? The softest joggers I've ever worn are called the "Restore Joggers" and if you buy only one thing from this line it should be these. The roomy grey short sleeve is called the "Eco Wash Restore Sweatshirt" and it's a really nice structured shirt with an oversized cozy twist to it. Lastly is the super snuggly black sweater called the "Pranayama Wrap" and can we just take a moment for the amazing thumb holes? Yes, please! 

I'd love for you to share your ideas, mantras, and ways you stay mindful below. The more the merrier! Also, make sure to check out the Athleta Chi blog for more tips to unplug!

Lastly, a HUGE thanks to Athleta for collaborating with me and sponsoring this post. #PowerOfShe

Being active with little ones

Being active is obviously a very important part of my life and if that means I can help someone around me be active, I'm even more excited. When a friend of mine was coming in town and asked what we should do with her little one, I told her that we should workout together. I had just been given a new yoga wheel that I had no clue how to use so we tried it out together! It's amazing that a two year old stayed interested for so long, but she did! I hope to one day teach my future child the importance of being active. Until then, I'll just borrow my friends kids. :)

Wearing:  Kos USA Bralette and Leggings
Yoga Wheel: Plexus